A goal by Cleavon Frendo early in the game enabled Qormi to return to winning ways as they beat Marsaxlokk 1-0.
A win which puts Stephen Azzopardi’s side in seventh place on 11 points, just two behind the Southseasiders. On the other hand, Marsaxlokk failed to close in on leaders Valletta, therefore staying in third place.
The Southseasiders lacked once again Clive Brincat but started with Pullicino and Kokavessis on the bench as Julio Alcorse was back after serving a two-match ban. Qormi, on the other hand, lacked Abubakar Bello-Osagie while Roderick Sammut and George Mallia failed to make it to the starting line-up.
Qormi managed to take the lead on the 11th minute when a great rising shot by Cleavon Frendo hit the upright with the ball ending at the back of the net.
Marsaxlokk’s reaction was rather sterile and one had to wait until the 34th minute to witness a shot from outside the area by Ruben Guerreiro which however missed the target. Two minutes later, Alcorse served Guerreiro on the right and the latter’s goal-bound shot was cleared into safety by Jonathan Bondin.
On the other side of the pitch, a Joseph Farrugia freekick ended high two minutes from the end of the first half. The Qormi captain had another shot from outside the area ending high.
Eight minutes in the second half, Trevor Templeman went close for the Southseasiders with a shot from outside the area which was deflected into a corner by the Qormi goalkeeper.
Matthew Bartolo managed to serve Cleavon Frendo with an intelligent pass on 63 minutes but the latter’s close-range effort was blocked by the Marsaxlokk goalkeeper. Ten minutes later, Martin Deanov served Malcolm Licari on the right inside the area but his conclusion ended wide.
On the 74th, a shot by Deanov fro the edge of the area was deflected into a corner by Kang Hojung. On the other side of the pitch, in a swift counter-attack for Qormi, Frendo released Matthew Bartolo who advanced before trying his luck with a diagonal shot which was turned into a corner.
Three minutes in added time, Rumen Galabov could have notched the equaliser for Qormi with a great shot from outside the area but Matthew Farrugia turned the ball into a corner in style.
Jason Lee Vandelannoite was voted BOV Player of the Match.
M’XLOKK Reuben Gauci, Carlo Mamo, Gareth Sciberras, Sunday Eboh, Martin Deanov, Malcolm Licari, Julio Alcorse, Alfred Effiong, Rumen Galabov, Trevor Templeman (82’ Gary Caruana), Ruben Guerreiro Gravata (72’ Emil Yanchev).
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Kevin Polidano, Peter Pullicino, Andrew Spiteri, Dylan Kokavessis.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Cleavon Frendo, Jason Vandelanoitte, Matthew Bartolo (87′ George Mallia), Keith Fenech (79’ Michael Borg Olivier), Kosta Bjedov (46’ Roderick Sammut), Jonathan Bondin, Joseph Chetcuti, Stefan Giglio, Joseph Farrugia, Kang Hojung.
Subs not used: Matthew Camilleri, Ben Camilleri, Gabriel Buttigieg, Steve Agius.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Assistant Coach: Charles Scerri
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Galabov, J. Farrugia, Chetcuti, Vandelannoite, Borg Olivier
Scorers: 11’ Cleavon Frendo
Photos: Copyright © www.fotoincmalta.com
Birkirkara and Tarxien Rainbows disappointed as they shared the spoils in a goalless draw. A rather drab affair between two teams who were hoping to narrow the gap with leaders Valletta.
Tarxien are now joint-second with Floriana on 14 points while Birkirkara join Marsaxlokk and Hamrun on thirteen points.
Both coaches were unable to field their best formation due to the absence of Nikola Vukanac for Birkirkara and Sergio Pacheco De Oliveira for Tarxien.
The Rainbows had the first attempt at goal on the 19th minute when a long-distance shot by Orosco Anonam which was parried by Scottish goalie Michael Fraser. Eight minutes later, Ricardo Costa tested Fraser with another shot from outside the area.
Daniel Mariano Bueno received a through pass on the half hour, he pulled to the left but his diagonal shot ended wide. One minute from the end of the first half, Bueno went close once again with a fine scissors-kick ending wide after receiving a cross from the right by Ricardo Costa.
Emiliano Lattes almost took advantage of a misunderstanding between Luke Vella Critien and goalkeeper David Cassar eight minutes in the second half but the flank defender managed to clear the ball into safety.
On the hour, following a counter-attack, Daniel Mariano Bueno exchanged the ball with Cristiano Dos Santos Rodrigues, and after advancing into the area, he had a shot which was cleared by a defender. On the other side of the pitch, Karl Pulo served Michael Galea whose close-range shot was blocked by a defender.
Shaun Bajada went close with a direct freekick from which Vella and Galea just failed to connect on 78 minutes. Two minutes later, Terence Vella missed an incredible chance hitting high from close range following an inviting pass by Lattes. Paul Fenech then tested David Cassar with a direct freekick from the left on 85 minutes.
Finally one minute from time, Orosco Anonam had the opportunity to notch the winner for Tarxien but his close-range effort was cleared off the goal-line by Patrick Borg.
Emiliano Lattes was voted BOV Player of the Match.
B’KARA Michael Fraser, Paul Fenech, Joseph Zerafa, Patrick Borg, Shaun Bajada, Ryan Harding, Rowen Muscat (74’ Simon Zahra), Karl Pulo (74’ Terence Vella), Emiliano Lattes, Michael Galea (84’ Trevor Cilia), Angus Buhagiar.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Thomas Paris, Alan Tabone, Ryan Scicluna.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Assistant Coach: Branko Nisevic
TARXIEN David Cassar, Manuel Caruana (77’ Ryan Mintoff), Everton Antonio Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Cristiano Dos Santos Rodrigues, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Luke Vella Critien, Orosco Anonam, Ryan Grech (46’ Mark Tanti), Lee Galea, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Steve Sadowski, Gianluca Calabretta, Sergio Hili, Julian Vella.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Vella Critien, Grioli, Harding